Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Un Ojo

February 28th, 2022

Few bettors expected Un Ojo to win the Rebel S. (G2) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby; he started as the longest shot in the field at 75-1. But a ground-saving trip and a perfectly-timed rally carried Un Ojo to a half-length victory, giving the dark bay gelding a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) starting gate.

Un Ojo’s Rebel triumph may have come as a surprise on the day, but his classy pedigree has long hinted at serious potential. If Un Ojo is beaten in the Kentucky Derby, it will be hard to blame his breeding.

Bred in New York, Un Ojo comes from the second crop of foals sired by Laoban, whose racing exploits included a 27-1 upset in the 2016 Jim Dandy S. (G2). At stud, Laoban has enjoyed strong success, siring a bevy of stakes-caliber dirt routers. The best include Alcibiades S. (G1) heroine Simply Ravishing, Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) winner Keepmeinmind (a 2021 Kentucky Derby starter), Fantasy S. (G3) runner-up Ava’s Grace, and Sir Barton S. winner The King Cheek.

Similar tendencies can be found in the bottom half of Un Ojo’s pedigree. His dam is Risk a Chance, a New York-bred mare who scored all three of her victories racing one mile on dirt. She placed twice against stakes company running long, which is hardly surprising since her sire—A.P. Indy—won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. (G1) and is a renowned as a source of stamina in pedigrees.

Un Ojo Pedigree

Indian Charlie, 1995
Uncle Mo, 2008
Playa Maya, 2000
Laoban, 2013
Speightstown, 1998
Chattertown, 2006
Chatter Chatter, 2001
Un Ojo, 2019
Seattle Slew, 1974
A.P. Indy, 1989
Weekend Suprise, 1980
Risk a Chance, 2008
Seeking the Gold, 1985
Seeking the Ante, 2002
Antespend, 1993

But wait, there’s more. Risk a Chance’s dam is Seeking the Ante, whose victory in the seven-furlong Nassau County Breeders’ Cup S. (G2) infuses a useful bit of speed into Un Ojo’s pedigree. Seeking the Ante is also the dam of Mineralogist, a versatile filly who won four stakes over distances from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

And let’s not forget A.P. Indy’s stellar record as a broodmare sire—his daughter have foaled Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Super Saver, Preakness S. (G1) winner Cloud Computing, Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Mystic Guide, and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winners Malathaat and Plum Pretty, not to mention champions Improbable, Royal Delta, and Game Winner.

Taking all of these factors together, Un Ojo’s pedigree appears perfectly suited to success in the Kentucky Derby. Laoban sadly died in 2021 at the young age of eight, but perhaps Un Ojo can provide Laoban with a posthumous Kentucky Derby winner.